Happy 5th Birthday Ava Tyler! God, I love this kid! She is so amazing. Thinking back over 5 years with Ava brings so many crazy memories. From the very start, Ava's energy, determination, and stubborn streak were very apparent. When she was born, she had a shock of fiery red hair. I always joked that it was all the Andy Capp Hot Fries that I ate while I was pregnant with her! She had the chubbiest cheeks, and electric blue eyes, and that crazy red hair---it just fit her so well!
She spent the first 6 weeks in NICU at Children's. It was hard to hold her because she had wires and tubes everywhere. I remember her being very strong. She could lift her head in those first few days!! She had a procedure done early on where they stitched her tongue to her lip so it wouldn't block her airway and she had to be sedated and kept in a twilight coma for a week so she could heal. I remember them saying that she was so strong she would try to "break through" the sedation.
She was so stubborn! She had an oral aversion because of all these "bad" things that involved her mouth, so feeding her was a night mare. She would not eat! It was such a struggle to get her to eat even an ounce at a time. Success was measured in millilitres in those early months. She made mommy and daddy stronger too. I gained strength to advocate for her and speak up for us. We learned not to take anything for granted!
At one year old, when Ava had her cleft palate surgery I learned again how freakishly strong she was. It took all of my might to hold her when she was mad as a hornet after surgery. She had to wear bands on her arms to keep her from putting her hands in her mouth and I remember being whacked with those things a few times! AND it HURT!!!
When Ava started to talk, all of her sounds were made at the back of her throat. She called me "ga ga" for a LONG time. We called her "gwacky bird" because she reminded me of a bird and that's the sound she would make! She had speech therapy and I remember the first time she called me Mama. I get tears just thinking about it. She would work so hard and was such a good little student!
Enthusiasm is her middle name. She doesn't do anything half way. She knows what she wants and gives it her all.
Ava comes up with the craziest funny stuff. She is great at the one-liners. I wish that I would have written down more of the funny things that she has said through the years. She just cracks me up constantly with what she comes up with!
She loves animals. She has a special relationship with Kingston...he thinks she is a puppy and she lets him believe it. The two of them together are nuts. He is constantly "playing" with her. And if you know anything about how dogs play with each other, you know that they do a lot of mouthing. So, yes, he is constantly "biting" Ava and knocking her down and she just doesn't care!!!
Ava dances and sings around our house constantly. She doesn't mind doing it in public either. At the Italian Day Festival this year she danced and sang with a giant blow up guitar--she had us laughing so hard.
All or nothing Ava. I wouldn't change a thing about her!